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The Comancheros
(1961)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:

Produced by:
Nick Redman
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Film Score Monthly
(October, 1999)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The album is a limited release of 3,000 copies, available originally through FSM or specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek a predictably vibrant and bold Elmer Bernstein Western score, complete with the usual brassy themes and optimistic string interludes.

Avoid it... if the cheery atmosphere of many of Bernstein's themes for the genre detracts from the sincerity of the arguably more interesting accompanying underscore.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #934
WRITTEN 10/7/99, REVISED 10/16/07
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Bernstein
Bernstein
The Comancheros: (Elmer Bernstein) Remembered mostly as yet another decent entry in John Wayne's career during the height of the Western genre, The Comancheros is perhaps more important to note as the final film of Casablanca director Michael Curtiz's long career. In and of itself, there are few attributes of 1961's The Comancheros that blazed new territory. The script was a character study common to the genre, Wayne's performance was predictable, and the Utah locations had been seen in countless Westerns to date. But the film accomplished its goals well, proving to be above average in nearly every aspect. The debut in a long collaboration with the films of John Wayne, The Comancheros also represented the first major Western score for Elmer Bernstein after the highly popular and industry-defining The Magnificent Seven in 1960. Bernstein's continuing journey in the West features the very much of the same enthusiasm and raw sense of Americana that can be heard in The Magnificent Seven, among other Westerns in his career. Even beyond that previous effort, though, The Comancheros includes a wider range of moods and sub-themes, as well as a further exploration of folk music inherited from Bernstein's root interest in music. The composer is quick to acknowledge Aaron Copland once again as a primary source of inspiration, and while he continues to meet expectations with his expansive and frenetic interpretations of that sound, Bernstein also allows more folk rhythms to intrude on his writing here, foreshadowing the kind of Western sounds that Basil Poledouris would make a career out of several decades later. None of this should serve to discount the energetic and rolling title theme to The Comancheros, however, which was heroic in the same innocent and fantastic super-hero sort of way that defined the Westerns of this and the previous decade. Although some strict fans of more recent film scores might find the theme to be silly, if not ridiculous, it's important to recognize that these themes, in their joyful and yet powerful tendencies, played an enormous role in the glorification of heroes such as John Wayne. They were expected, and Bernstein delivered.

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VIEWER RATINGS
630 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.38 Stars
***** 150 5 Stars
**** 158 4 Stars
*** 165 3 Stars
** 96 2 Stars
* 61 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 47:43
• 1. Prologue (1:12)
• 2. Main Title (1:40)
• 3. Riverboat Capture (1:17)
• 4. Regrets (1:48)
• 5. The Wide Open (1:48)
• 6. Eulogy (1:52)
• 7. McBain (1:09)
• 8. Digging Again (1:18)
• 9. Nostalgia (0:50)
• 10. Attack (4:43)
• 11. Words (3:19)
• 12. The Sign (1:24)
• 13. Comancheros (5:31)
• 14. Hanging Around (1:36)
• 15. Keep Your Distance (0:49)
• 16. Campfire Dance (1:59)
• 17. Tobe's Death (0:58)
• 18. Leaving (3:46)
• 19. Texas Rangers (3:20)
• 20. Finale and End Title (1:10)

Bonus Tracks:
• 21. The Comancheros (2:00)
(unused title song performed by Claude King)
• 22. You Walked Away (2:27)
(unused song performed by Claude King)
• 23. Main Title (1:40) (mono mix)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The album contains the usual excellent quality of pictorial and textual information established in other albums of FSM's series, with extremely detailed notes about the films and scores.
Copyright © 1999-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from The Comancheros are Copyright © 1999, Film Score Monthly and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/7/99 and last updated 10/16/07.
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